Image credit: LG Door-in-Door™ GSJV91BSAE American Fridge Freezer
By Simon Lewis, LIFESTYLE REVIEWS EDITOR for THE TELEGRAPH
But with models in all sizes from Smeg, Samsung, Beko, Hotpoint and Bosch among others, it’s hard to tell which is the right fridge-freezer for you. Prices range from under £200 to well over £2000 and some have extra features of dubious utility, like the ability to sync to your smartphone.
To help you decide, we asked the advice of experienced buyers Emma Cabourn-Hall of Appliances Direct and Sophie Beckett-Smith of AO, as well as large electrical appliances expert David Miloshev of Fantastic Services.
“Nowadays, all machines have noise level and power consumption stickers on them,” David says. “Use those to compare different units and their efficiency. A new energy rating system came into effect in 2021, which means that models previously rated A now fall midway down the scale and are rated D (the full rating system runs from A-G). Refrigerators take a lot of power to run, so efficiency is important."
AO’s large appliances expert Sophie Becket-Smith says that a standard fridge freezer will use roughly 269kWh of electricity a year, which will cost around 12p a day.
In terms of noise, the gold standard is the Quiet Mark. The quietest fridge-freezers, as with the quietest fans, washing machines and washer-dryers, are “Quiet Mark Certified” and only emit around 34 decibels of sound.
We like: lots of space, plus premium features considering the price
Samsung RB: "space max" design for larger capacity
Samsung's mid-range 70/30 split free standing fridge freezer has many of the high-end features of the American-style Samsung RS below, but at a much more affordable price. The capacity is obviously smaller, but because it has slimmer walls, there is still space inside for 19 bags of shopping. It also has a fan to circulate cool air evenly within the fridge and a no-frost feature that regularly defrosts the freezer, so you never have to do it manually.
“The Samsung is one of my favourite recent, budget-friendly options,” says Fantastic Services’ David. “Many of our customers have said it’s straightforward to use, has a lot of space and is easy to understand and control. The only thing to note is that you need to open the door more than 90 degrees to access the salad shelf.” A clever reversible door hinge, so that the door can be opened either way, means that this is not a problem in most cases.
Best water and ice-dispensing fridge freezer
We like: uses UV to sanitise ice and chilled water
LG: all about the doors
“This is the smartest and the best fridge you can get right now,” says David. The price certainly reflects that, but there are enough premium features to just about justify it. One of the neatest is a Door-In-Door feature: a hidden button opens the top-right panel, allowing you to grab food and drink without letting too much cold air out. 'Door cooling' gives an interior blast of cold air after a door is closed, among other temperature- and humidity-regulating features.
Where some ice-dispensing machines need to be plumbed in, this is topped up manually. The water is zapped with UV light, killing 99.99 percent of bacteria. All in all, a cutting edge example of modern fridge technology, and very quiet at 36 decibels.
You can monitor it from your phone and give it voice instructions, such as "Do a fast freeze", via Alexa or Google Assistant - a common feature on modern appliances that Telegraph Recommended is on record as finding distinctly pointless.
“Also note that its radiators are placed on top of the machine,” David says, “instead of being placed at the back like other fridges. Many of my customers forget about this and cover it, by putting things on top of their fridges.”